Here?s a Twist: At Canwest, Newspaper Revenue Grew While Digital Shrank

By: Mark Fitzgerald

In its final fiscal quarter and under bankruptcy protection, Canwest Limited Partnership, publisher of the largest chain of English-language dailies in Canada, grew overall revenue on the strength of newspaper print advertising, which offset a decline in digital media, its new owner reported Thursday.

Postmedia Network Inc., which closed its purchase of the Canwest papers on July 13, reported fiscal third-quarter revenue ticked up 1% to C$270  million and operating income before amortization and restructuring expenses jumped 13% to C$51 million. (C$1 = US$0.96)

But the most remarkable detail is that the Canwest newspapers, including titles such as the National Post and Vancouver Sun, reported revenue that were up 1%, while digital media revenue decreased 16%. The drop was due in part to a change in allocation between reporting segments – but the “overall increase in revenue was primarily due to increased advertising revenues,” Postmedia said.

Operating expenses for the quarter ended May 31 were down 2%, “the result of cost reduction initiatives implemented in the last  nine months of fiscal 2009 and a continued focus on cost containment,” the company said.

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